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What is trademark infringement?

Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark in a manner that may cause confusion, mistake, or deception about the source of its goods and/or services. This means that a brand steers too close to another existing brand in a way that may cause consumers to mistake its origin. Trademark law provides remedies for trademark owners to protect their brands from trademark infringement.

If a trademark owner believes that their trademark is being infringed, they may file an infringement suit in either state or federal court to remedy the situation. To be successful, a trademark owner must be able to show that they own rights to a trademark, have priority in time over the infringing user, and that the infringing user’s use of the mark will cause confusion in the minds of consumers about the source of the goods or services offered under the owner’s trademark.

If a trademark owner is successful in proving infringement, there are a few remedies that may apply, though these can depend on the facts and circumstances:

- An injunction preventing the infringing party from using the brand

- A court order forcing destruction or forfeiture of the infringing goods

- Monetary damages

- Attorneys' fees

As always, we highly recommend reaching out to a trademark attorney if you believe your trademark rights are being infringed before taking matters into your own hands.

Author: Fernando Dutra.

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